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Behind enemy lines: Bengals woeful D getting healthy


Behind enemy lines: Bengals woeful D getting healthy

Checking out the top headlines, news and notes involving the Marvin Lewis coached Cincinnati Bengals, the Redskinds Week 3 opponent... No doubt the Redskins defense has been less than advertised unless giving up 31.5 points and 405 yards per game is suddenly a good thing (even with the replacement refs, it'snot). Cincinnati's has been worse, not even close to performing like the unit that spearheaded last season's playoff push. After allowing 400 yards in a game twice last season, the Bengals surrendered over 400 in each of their first two games.However, while the locals lost two starters in Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, the Bengals expect to have an injuredpass rusher return to the fray. Carlos Dunlap, the Bengals starting left defensive end, was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, puttinghimon track to make his 2012 debut Sunday. The third-year pass rusher, who has 14 sacks in 24 career games,sprained his right knee in Cincinnati's preseason opener. While the Bengals tallied five sacks without Dunlap, they also allowed 35.5 points and 434.5 yardswithout picking off a pass. Corner Dre Kirkpatrick, the Bengals first-round pick out of Alabama, is the only notable Cincinnati defender already ruled out of Sunday's meeting. All those yards allowed by the Bengals, not just about a handful plays; so far Cincinnati has given up 10 or more yards on 37 plays, according to the Associated Press. First downs have been a particular downer, allowing a league-high8.36 per play. After allowing only one 300-yard passing game last season, the Bengals pass defense ranks 29th, one spot ahead of the Redskins.As a reminder, last week the Bengals faced Cleveland's rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden who went from being overmatched and throwing four picksin the opener to passing for 322 yards, two touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his second NFL game. More than one person in my vicinity uttered the following on Sunday while catching the Bengals running a punt back for a touchdown against the Browns: "Pacman is still in the league?"Apparently so. Adam "Pacman" Jones returned the first punt he fielded 81 yards for a touchdown, the fifth of his career and first in Cincinnati. That was enough to gobble up AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors -and surely added another concern toa Redskins unit already under punt blocking durres.With that lengthy play on their side, the Bengals rank second in punt returns while the Redskins are 28th (6.2 YPR). Running back Bernard Scott is also expected to make his season debut and provide the offense with a change of pace and pass-catching option behind starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

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Growing rumors that Redskins will land Pernell McPhee

Every team in the NFL would love to add to their pass rush, and the Redskins are no exception. The team withdrew its contract offer to Junior Galette, spurring rumors that they were looking elsewhere.

The Redskins recently had linebacker Pernell McPhee in for a visit, and rumors are swirling that the former Bear is close to joining the Burgundy and Gold.

Nothing has been confirmed, but if McPhee does come to Washington, it would be in the hopes that he can provide a boost to the team's pass rush. The linebacker has proven himself capable of getting to the quarterback in his seven seasons in the NFL, recording 31.0 sacks in his career, with 21.5 of those coming in the last four years. He's also forced at least one fumble in each of the past five seasons.

Playing in the DMV again would mark a homecoming of sorts for McPhee, who played in Baltimore for 4 seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 draft before signing in Chicago as a free agent.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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